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Posted by: Mrs.DoubtingThomas ( )
Date: September 01, 2013 12:00AM

A little background: I've been a doubter since a teen although I graduated from both LDS Seminary and Institute. In the past I have been embarrassed to say that I'm a Mormon. I haven't gone to church in six years. I happily married a non-member. We do have one young child who is of primary age. My extended family has more inactive- and non-members than church-going members.

I'm weighing the possible pros and cons of going back to church:
Pros include: 1. Getting to know more of my neighbors. 2. Being in the "know" socially. 3. Perhaps building up my piano studio with more students with a piano-playing calling. 4. Feeling attached to my Mormon identity.

Cons include: 1. Getting up early on Sunday. 2. Wearing dresses or skirts with pantyhose weekly. 3. Unwanted callings (and visiting teacher assignments). 4. Pressure to bring my child(ren) to church. 5. Possibly thinking that #4 is a good idea! (Even though at times, I do think about it.) 6. Feeling like a fake.

Which pros could be important enough to keep you going week after week?

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Posted by: squeebee ( )
Date: September 01, 2013 12:04AM

What level of pro do you expect to justify living a lie?

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Posted by: Ragnar ( )
Date: September 01, 2013 12:52AM

Why would you want 'fake' friends who are either assigned to you (VTs, HTs) or are 'conditional' friends who are very judgmental of the way you live, dress, act, speak, etc.? To get to know more of your neighbors, throw a block party, or start inviting neighbors over for a barbeque (regardless of their religion or lack of it).

If you get enmeshed with LDS Corp again, you likely won't have time to build up your piano studio with a piano-playing calling. You'll be too busy doing all the free stuff they'll be requiring from you (including cleaning their toilets and vacuuming their floors). Put an ad in the newspaper or put up fliers in local stores. Talk to people at your block parties, and let them know you teach piano.

Why do you want to take so much time away from your family and children at this point in their lives? They need you, not the corporation, to love and care for them and to guide them.

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Posted by: Lmn8h8 ( )
Date: September 01, 2013 01:35AM

Your reasons, both pros and cons are so shallow that I don't think it matters what you do.

Dig deeper. Think about the betrayal to yourself if you do go. To stay in integrity what should you do? All the fluff reasons are meaningless to the bigger picture.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: September 01, 2013 01:43AM

Being able to play the piano is the reason that you should *not* go back. Because once the church digs its claws into you it will not let go. You will be playing for services, for primary, for RS, for weekday meetings, for programs, etc. They will exhaust you completely.

You might consider trying out other churches (Lutheran, Methodist, etc.) You get to meet people but no demands would be put on you for callings, VT, etc. You could wear what you like and attend whatever service is convenient for you. And their church meetings are about one hour, not three hours.

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Posted by: DishyDoodle ( )
Date: September 01, 2013 02:09AM

And you get paid to play piano for them!

My Never-Mo, non-religious husband plays piano at the Naval Academy Chapel from time to time and they pay him $250 for a few songs over the hour service. Sometimes he plays piano or guitar for a friend's Methodist Church, and they pay pretty well too!

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Posted by: Pooped ( )
Date: September 01, 2013 02:02AM

Your comment brought to my mind, I have no idea why, the idea of picking up dollar bills on the road while a host of skunks was spraying me in the face. There might literally be hundreds of thousands of dollars along the road but putting up with or withstanding the onslaught of even one skunk makes the monetary gain seem unappealing. Then imagine if, after you picked-up several hundred dollar bills, you misjudged the monetary gain because the dollar bills are all counterfeit. That is what going to a Mormon church feels like to me.

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Posted by: DishyDoodle ( )
Date: September 01, 2013 02:05AM

Ooooh, that was an excellent analogy!

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: September 01, 2013 02:21AM

(only) Pro: Un-supported claims/promises.
the premises often takes radical changes, even if they're not Immediately published.

Older adherents wonder: Why wasnt't that the way things were when I was younger? WHY do these 'eternal' things change so much?

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Posted by: Nancy Rigdon ( )
Date: September 01, 2013 08:21AM

Cons continued -

7. giving 10% of your income & 50% of your discretionary time to a corperation masquerading as a religion

8. teaching your children to judge women's worth by what goes in and out of their vagina; women's brains are just a technicality

9. teaching your children to trust warm fuzzy feelings rather than rational thought and reason

10. having fake friends who barely know you, but love you, snoop and spy on you in your own home because they just love you oh so much...gag

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Posted by: Yaqoob ( )
Date: September 01, 2013 08:38AM

They really don't allow people in the pews who half-ass it. You will be rooted out by some, love bombed by others, scorned by a few. You'll then have to redo this exercise and will then say "I never should have gone back."

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Posted by: anon4this ( )
Date: September 01, 2013 09:33AM

3. Perhaps building up my piano studio with more students with a piano-playing calling.

Many lds are poor and want things for free because they have many children.

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Posted by: Nancy Rigdon ( )
Date: September 01, 2013 10:51AM

Good point. And they will expect her to provide piano lessons to their children as a "service". If she asks for money, they will either be offended or guilt her into providing lessons for free.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: September 01, 2013 10:58AM

your "pro" list confirms that you are involved in mormonism just for socializing and not for "doctrine".

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Posted by: Mrs.DoubtingThomas ( )
Date: September 01, 2013 11:25AM

Yes, my heart really wasn't into writing a deep pro/con list. I admit as I was writing this, all the reasons felt shallow. And I really have given great, even analytical, thought as to why I no longer wanted to be active. Thanks for reminding me that I don't need church to be social and involved with my neighbors. I've chosen my path and it's authentic to me. :)

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Posted by: Agate ( )
Date: September 02, 2013 01:05AM

Interestingly the one glaring thing missing in the pro/con list is God. Isn't thir organization known as a "church".

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Posted by: Mrs.DoubtingThomas ( )
Date: September 02, 2013 10:39AM

I realized that there isn't an active present of God or the spirit in church. It's a lot of rote, going from class to class, and not being in the present... I don't think I ever felt the spirit at church. Other places, perhaps, but not in church. The list is glaringly not balanced because my motive is strictly networking/social, not for spiritual gain, which I realize is rather immature.

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: September 02, 2013 04:11AM

Pro: N/A

Con: It's a con.

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Posted by: Joy ( )
Date: September 02, 2013 05:12AM

Pro: you feel unpopular, and would like friends, and students.

Con: you will be more unpopular, as you are being judged right now as inactive and less worthy. They might not like you to influence their children, if your testimony is faltering. It goes without saying, that these are not your friends.

It took me several years to figure out that the Mormons in our ward never really liked me as a friend--only someone to serve their purposes. They asked me to accompany them at scarament meeting, with no advance notice. When they wanted to rehearse, it was always on Saturdays (my children's day, because I worked) or early Sunday morning (no family Sunday breakfast for the kids.) I was invited to all the Christmas parties, so I could play Christmas carols. No one ever called me to chat, or to see how I was doing. I took dinners to sick people, but no one ever brought me dinner when I was sick.

Con: You give and give and give, and never get anything back.
Giant con; The Mormons will come after your children, separate them from you, and try to teach them to obey the priesthood, over you, their parent.

A busy piano studio would not be worth the price of throwing my children to the wolves. Teach your children, and your family how to play. I'm also teaching senior citizens, who have always wanted to play, but were convinced it would be too difficult. It is good for their arthritis and their morale. I don't get paid for this, but it does more good than those brainwashing, repetitive, dirges the Mormons write.

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Posted by: forbiddencokedrinker ( )
Date: September 02, 2013 05:34AM

You need to take another step back to look at the full picture of Mormonism. Your con list sounds more like what a true believing member would come up with as reasons for someone not wanting to go to church.

Look, either the church is true or it isn't. There is no provable evidence that the societies in the Book of Mormon ever existed, despite what you may have been told. No horses, no chariots, no iron or steel artifacts, no sheep, barley, wheat, coins, ext. On the other hand, there is concrete DNA evidence that proves that the ancestors of Native Americans came from Asia, and there has not been one single trace of a native American person with Middle Eastern ancestry before the arrival of Columbus. None. I would put down as a major con that you would be helping to build up a false narrative that had never happened, or what is better known a lie.

You'd also be supporting a religion with a history of treating women, blacks, and gays as second class citizens, all in the name of maybe getting a couple more piano students. There are better and less time consuming ways of finding students.

Look, you want to get to know members of your community better. That is great. There are better ways to do this then going to church. Join a club or a community volunteer program. Go swimming at a local community pool on a regular basis. Hell, the best proven way to build a social network for both professional and personal development is to go out to the local bar once or twice a week. You don't have to stay until close, or become an alcoholic, just go hang out for a couple hours and meet people from all kinds of different walks of life. Many of them have kids who would make wonderful piano students, and no one will ever ask you to clean the restroom, even if you made a mess.

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Posted by: blueorchid ( )
Date: September 02, 2013 11:16AM

When you act with integrity, the pro/con list becomes redundant.

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